Has anyone had experience with training for hobbles?
I have read many things about training with/for hobbles, but I wanted to get your input. I have never worked with hobbles, but would like to be able to use them for camping with the horses, if needed. (Sometimes there are corrals, sometimes not) Share with me how you did it, as well as any bad that came from it. I would like to be prepared for any and all if possible. Thanks!
Yes, I spent a number of years guiding pack trips into the Colorado wilderness.
We used three way hobbles. two front legs together and one hind leg. Anyone who has spent time around only front hobbles can tell you a horse can run darn fast in them. Only by including one hind leg will it slow them down.
I start by putting LOOSE front hobbles on. They are about a foot apart so that it isn't as restrictive. Then I slowly close the distance. Then I add the three way with the back hobble just dragging. Then, after they are very comfortable with the front hobble, I will attach the rear hobble with a panic snap attached.
I am currently getting ready to sell a bunch of my packing gear, such as canvas saddle panniers, two sets of three way hobbles, a couple of large saddle bags, and a halter/bridle. Sadly, it may have to be local sale as I don't want to deal with paypal.
Get your horse very desensitized to ropes around his legs; run them all around, up and down the legs...all of them (especially if you want to incorporate the third hobble as suggested by allison). Even put the rope around the pastern and 'tug' gently on it, just to get him used to the sensation of a 'pull' around his foot. When he is used to ropes, then start putting the hobbles on for a short period of time. I like to do it after they have already had a good workout, that way he is ready to stand around. Most horses, if you have gotten them used to ropes being there, won't be bothered by the hobbles. I make sure to do this in an area that if they do get upset, they won't be injured, though. You never know, so be safe, rather than sorry. Remove his saddle before hobbling as well, just incase he decides to go up in the air and flips over.
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